Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure to share the title and the author too!

Hidden (Avena, #1)
My Teaser
"People say it's a wonderful world. Well, from where I stand it's a load of bull. Man, this world is feral. It's cruel and unpredictable." Chapter 2

"Are your eyes really... purple?" "They're violet actually." Chapter 3

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong [Review]


Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island. Until now. Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel...different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.

Release date: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Harper
Order: Amazon

I must confess to start off with that I may have a slight obsession with Kelley Armstrong's books so this review could be a little biased. I loved her Darkest Powers series so I had an inkling that I may fall in love with this series as well. Boy, was I right. First off... can we talk about the cover?

It's so mysterious and alluring and pretty! Also, it completely describes the series! Although I'm not exactly sure how pretty describes a series, but oh well.

 Maya (isn't that such a pretty name?) is so kick-ass. I loved her personality. She really cares for her friends and family. I love to see when a heroine tends to put others in front of themselves but not be submissive at the same time. I don't really go for the damsel in distress characters, and Maya certainly is not.

 There's also a character named Rafe who is your not so typical bad boy with an agenda. But, there's also Daniel as well. Daniel is the sweetheart of the bunch and tends to be protective of Maya, which is completely adorable.

The plot is quick and suspenseful (and surprising) towards the end and it had the right mix of paranormal and romance in it for me. It also didn't have insta-love which is always a plus in my book. If you like to read YA paranormal books that don't have your typical vampire/werewolf characters then this is definitely the book for you. The Gathering has a new mix of paranormal that kept me on my toes. It's nice to have a refreshing new type of paranormal. 

Overall I give it five owls, because how could I not?

Kelley ArmstrongKelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets. 


Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm Back!

To my followers,
I am so so sorry for being gone so long! I have recently finished up my senior year at university and I walk across the stage on May 3rd! Needless to say, I am really excited! I will now have some time to read and review books again after my long hiatus. Graduating with a biology degree, working 28 hours a week in retail, and applying to medical schools is no easy task. Thank you guys for hanging in there!
Heather (Owlnestly Reviews)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Owlet by Emma Michaels Blog Tour

Owlet (Society of Feathers, #1)

Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.
Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.

Emma MichaelsEmma Michaels is a cover artist and author of Owlet. As the founder of The Writers Voice blog (http://OurBooksOurVoice.Blogspot.com) she loves to connect authors and readers. Her love of blogging started when she created a review blog in 2009 (www.EmmaMichaels.com) which gave her the courage to finally submit her own novels to publishers.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Charm & Strange [Book Tour Stop with Playlist and Review]

Charm & Strange

When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . . Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself. He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost. He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable. Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present. Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

Release date: June 11th 2013 Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin Order: Amazon

Wow... just wow. I was literally blown away by Charm and Strange. It held secrets so deep that there was no turning back once I started. I knew once the flashbacks started. I knew and I just couldn't put it down despite the ever growing presence of something sinister and so unimaginable lurking around the corner. I read this book in about three hours and stayed up til 1 am just to finish it even with class the next day. That is how intrigued I was by this book.

I think that halfway through the novel I realized what was going on, but like the main character I also couldn't accept, nor did I want to accept, the facts that were laid out right there in front of my face. I hoped and wished that I was just over analyzing the story and what I thought was happening, was not truly happening. I just wasn't sure that I could comprehend such horror, and the fact that I was voluntarily reading it.

 I never intentionally read or watch anything sad, ever. I believe that there is too much sad in this world already and if I want an escape, it should not be a somber one. This book is the exception to the rule. I found myself switching from so many emotions throughout reading this novel. Many of which included horror, denial, remorse, happiness, intrigue, sickness, and terrible sadness. The ending really got to me. Although I knew what was coming, I still denied it right up until the very end. I ended up bawling a good ten minutes after reading the last page. I truly wished that this novel really was as paranormal as the summary made it out to be, but I am also very happy that the summary is the way it is. Otherwise, I probably never would have read this book and that would have been a very bad mistake indeed. This is a story that needs to be told. It yearns to be told, and you need to listen. Take a chance with this one.
Suggested Playlist:
This is just a menagerie of songs that I feel fit the book. They aren't in order.

You're Not Alone- Saosin
The Kill- 30 Seconds to Mars
Dirty Little Secret- All American Rejects
Secrets- One Republic
Siren Song- Bat For Lashes
Pardon Me- Incubus
Animal- Ke$ha
I'm Sorry- Flyleaf

Stephanie KuehnStephanie Kuehn is a YA writer who grew up in Berkeley, California, which is a quirky sort of a place with a ton of wonderful bookstores. Her very first job was working in one of those bookstores, and she's been a freakishly avid reader for as long as she can remember. 
Stephanie's other passions include mental health advocacy, social justice, and sports of all kinds. She's currently living in Northern California with her family and their wild menagerie of pets.


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Friday, May 31, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #3

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Q: What blogger would you most like to meet in real life? Tell us about him or her.

Liza from Life from a Lefty! She just seems to be incredibly awesome and we seem to have a lot in common! Go check her out. :)
Life From a Lefty

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe [Review]

The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1)
Title: The Sweetest Dark
Author: Shana Abe
Format Acquired: Netgalley ARC
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Publishing House: Bantam
IBSN: 0345531701

Summary from Goodreads:
“With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.” 
Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.
England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.
Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.

How do I even begin to describe this literally breathtaking novel? This book was incredible, point blank. I have never read a novel that was as whimsical, mystical, and taunting wrapped up all in one. The novel is set in the WWI era and starts out with Lora and her experiences in the orphanage and the mental institution. You see, Lora is not your typical human. In fact, she is hardly human at all. She is able to hear the mysterious songs of gold, and precious gems, and she has a daunting voice inside telling her all sorts of absurd things. Lora is special, which is seen from the very beginning. But, like all young adult novels, Lora is also a teenager. She is sent off the a pristine boarding school on scholarship away from the bombings in London. Here, she meets two very handsome, very mysterious boys. 

I was torn between these two boys. I wasn't sure which one I loved more, but either way I loved to love them. Jesse is the groundskeeper for Iverson boarding school and he is everything you would expect is a total swoon worthy character. He is handsome, caring, and just precious. Armand, on the other hand is a lot tougher. He definitely has a rough exterior, but he also holds secrets that must be protected by his hard shell. Both of them were quite the gentleman in one way or another.

Unlike most young adult novels, this ones writing went so much more in depth. It carried a whimsical quality that flowed like the wind on a clear summer night. Everything was written so delicately and precisely. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style. Also unlike young adult novels, the ending to this one had a somber note to it. It was the perfect ending, because it was foreshadowed throughout, but it did not stop the tears in the least. 

I guarantee you will love this novel if you enjoy dragons, swoon worthy characters, and a bit of mystical storytelling. What are you waiting for? 

Shana AbeShana Abé was born in Texas. She spent much of her childhood living in Colorado, with a brief stint in Mexico as a foreign exchange student, and, at age seventeen, lived in Japan as a model. Throughout her childhood, Abé wrote, completing what she calls "The Silliest Romance Novel Ever" during her free time during modeling shoots. Her writing focused on romance, as those were the types of books that she most enjoyed reading.[1] She later attended college in Los Angeles, graduating with a degree in drama.
Her second novel, also a contemporary romance, took third place in a writing contest. She sent the book to several prospective agents, many of which responded with questions similar to "Nice voice — but what line are you writing for?" Unwilling to try to fit her writing into some of the rules that governed contemporary romances, Abé chose to concentrate on historical romances. For her first attempt at a historical romance, the newlywed Abé chose to tell the story of her own romance with her husband, set in medieval times. The manuscript was purchased by Bantam Books and published as A Rose in Winter.
Many of Abé's subsequent novels have also been set in the medieval time period. Abé chose the time period because of its "great sense of dichotomy....It inspires thoughts of grandeur, of courtly grace and chivalrous knights — but at the same time there's a gritty, raw aspect to the period that just cannot be denied."

Abé has received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, and has been nominated six times for Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Awards, winning twice